Ginseng is a plant that is often used in teas and sodas. The root has been used to stimulate energy and improve brain function. Ginseng can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.
1 gram 1 to 3 times daily
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It is likely safe for most adults to take ginseng in small doses for a short time. Pregnant women should not take ginseng. Ginseng may not be safe when taken over a long period. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use by women who are breastfeeding.N1-N5
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:
A. Acute Respiratory Infection
A1. High KP, Case D, et al. A randomized, controlled trial of Panax quinquefolius extract (CVT-E002) to reduce respiratory infection in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. J Support Oncol. 2012 Sep-Oct;10(5):195-201.
B. Alzheimer Disease
B1. Lee MS, Yang EJ, et al. Ginseng for cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;18(2):339-344.
B2. Wang Y, Yang G, et al. Ginseng for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Curr Top Med Chem. 2016;16(5):529-536.
C. Cancer Fatigue
C1. Barton DL, Soori GS, et al. Pilot study of Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) to improve cancer-related fatigue: a randomized, double-blind, dose-finding evaluation: NCCTG trial N03CA. Support Care Cancer. 2010 Feb;18(2):179-87.
C2. Barton DL, Liu H, et al. Wisconsin Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) to improve cancer-related fatigue: a randomized, double-blind trial, N07C2. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Aug 21;105(16):1230-1238.
D. Cancer Induced Nausea and Vomiting
D1. Chen MH, May BH, et al. Integrative Medicine for Relief of Nausea and Vomiting in the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer Using Oxaliplatin-Based Chemotherapy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Phytother Res. 2016 May;30(5):741-753.
E. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
E1. Guo R, Pittler MH, et al. Herbal medicines for the treatment of COPD: a systematic review. Eur Respir J. 2006 Aug;28(2):330-338.
E2. An X, Zhang AL, et al. Oral ginseng formulae for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review. Respir Med. 2011 Feb;105(2):165-176.
F. Cognitive Function
F1. Geng J, Dong J, et al. Ginseng for cognition. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Dec 8;(12):CD007769.
G1. Yeh GY, Eisenberg DM, et al. Systematic review of herbs and dietary supplements for glycemic control in diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1277-1294.
G2. Kim S, Shin BC, et al. Red ginseng for type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Chin J Integr Med. 2011;17(12):937-944.
G3. Shergis JL, Zhang AL, et al. Panax ginseng in randomised controlled trials: a systematic review. Phytother Res. 2013 Jul;27(7):949-65.
G4. Shishtar E, Sievenpiper JL, et al. The effect of ginseng (the genus panax) on glycemic control: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. PLoS One. 2014;29(9):e107391.
G5. Gui QF, Xu ZR, et al. The Efficacy of Ginseng-Related Therapies in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Feb;95(6):e2584.
G6. Jenkins AL, Morgan LM, et al. Co-administration of a konjac-based fibre blend and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) on glycaemic control and serum lipids in type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled, cross-over clinical trial. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Sep;57(6):2217-2225.
H. Erectile Dysfunction
H1. Jang DJ, Lee MS, et al. Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2008 Oct;66(4):444-450.
H2. Borrelli F, Colalto C, et al. Herbal Dietary Supplements for Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Drugs. 2018 Apr;78(6):643-673.
I1. Arring NM, Millstine D, et al. Ginseng as a Treatment for Fatigue: A Systematic Review. J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Jul;24(7):624-633.
J. High Blood Pressure
J1. Komishon AM, Shishtar E, et al. The effect of ginseng (genus Panax) on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. J Hum Hypertens. 2016 Oct;30(10):619-626.
J2. Lee HW, Lim HJ, et al. Ginseng for Treating Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trials. Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2017;15(6):549-556.
K1. Huntley AL, Ernst E. A systematic review of herbal medicinal products for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Menopause. 2003 Sep-Oct;10(5):465-476.
K2. Lee HW, Choi J, et al. Ginseng for managing menopausal woman’s health: A systematic review of double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(38):e4914.
L. Multiple Sclerosis
L1. Kim E, Cameron M, et al. American ginseng does not improve fatigue in multiple sclerosis: a single center randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover pilot study. Mult Scler. 2011 Dec;17(12):1523-1526.
L2. Etemadifar M, Sayahi F, et al. Ginseng in the treatment of fatigue in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot study. Int J Neurosci. 2013;123(7):480-486.
M. Neurocognitive Function
M1. Scholey A, Ossoukhova A, et al. Effects of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on neurocognitive function: an acute, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Oct;212(3):345-56.
N1. Yuan CS, Wei G, et al. Brief communication: American ginseng reduces warfarin's effect in healthy patients: a randomized, controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Jul 6;141(1):23-27.
N2. Seely D, Dugoua JJ, et al. Safety and efficacy of panax ginseng during pregnancy and lactation. Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2008 Winter;15(1):e87-94.
N3. Izzo AA, Ernst E. Interactions between herbal medicines and prescribed drugs: an updated systematic review. Drugs. 2009;69(13):1777-1798.
N4. Izzo AA. Interactions between herbs and conventional drugs: overview of the clinical data. Med Princ Pract. 2012;21(5):404-428.
N5. Choi S, Oh DS, et al. A systematic review of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions of herbal medicine with warfarin. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 10;12(8):e0182794.
O1. Chen EY, Hui CL. HT1001, a proprietary North American ginseng extract, improves working memory in schizophrenia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Phytother Res. 2012;26(8):1166-1172.
P. Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in Children
P1. Vohra S, Johnston BC, et al. Safety and tolerability of North American ginseng extract in the treatment of pediatric upper respiratory tract infection: a phase II randomized, controlled trial of 2 dosing schedules. Pediatrics. 2008 Aug;122(2):e402-10.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 6/17/2020